A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court has convicted 10 of the accused in the Patna serial blasts case of 2013 where a series of blasts were set off at the rally of Narendra Modi, then Chief Minister of Gujarat. One accused was acquitted due to want of evidence. The court has decided to pronounce the verdict on November 1.
The guilty accused are: Imtiaz Ansari, Mujibullah, Haider Ali, Firoz Aslam, Omar Ansari, Iftekhar, Ahmed Husain, Umair Siddiqui and Azharuddin respectively. One accused was a minor whose case was referred to the Juvenile Justice Board, who subsequently convicted him on October 12 and sentenced him to three years in prison. The court headed by Special NIA judge Gurvinder Mehrotra acquitted Fakhruddin on the basis of lack of evidence.
"The NIA had submitted charge-sheets against 11 people in the course of investigation. Of these, one was a minor and his case was referred to the juvenile justice board. The remaining were put on trial," said Special Public Prosecutor Lalan Prasad Singh to PTI. The accused set off the blasts in order to kill Narendra Modi whom they perceived as being 'inimical' to the interests of Indian Muslims if he became Prime Minister, the NIA chargesheet said. The accused are also involved with the SIMI outfit that is a banned terrorist organisation.
The blasts took place at Gandhi Maidan during the Hunkar rally of then CM Narendra Modi. Six people were killed and numerous others injured. 17 IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) were found in and around the Gandhi Maidan by the investigating team. Out of the accused, five were convicted in the 2013 Bodh Gaya serial blasts case which was masterminded by accused Haider and Mujibullah, supposedly as revenge for alleged atrocities against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.
Another accused Tariq Ansari died while trying to plant a bomb inside a public toilet at the Patna Junction railway station.